From Eternity We Are Before God's Eyes, Says Pope

Comments on Canticle in Ephesians 1

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2005 ( Benedict XVI shared a personal experience at the general audience, acknowledging his emotion when reflecting on God’s love from eternity for every human being.

During the traditional midweek audience with pilgrims, in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope gave a commentary on the canticle which appears in the first chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, verses 3-14. The canticle is prayed at vespers, the Evening Prayer of the Church.

Referring to the canticle, the Holy Father said that God has chosen «us from eternity» to be «holy and blameless in love» and «predestines us to be his children.»

Therefore, it can be said that, «‘before the foundation of the world,’ in the eternity of God, divine grace was disposed to enter into action,» the Pope told the more than 20,000 tourists and pilgrims gathered on a hot day.

«I am moved meditating on this truth: From eternity we are before the eyes of God and he has decided to save us,» said the Holy Father, departing from his prepared text.

«This call has our ‘holiness’ — a great word — as content. Holiness is participation in the transcendent beauty of the divine Being. And we know that God is charity,» he added.


«Therefore, to participate in divine purity means to participate in the ‘charity’ of God, conforming ourselves with God who is ‘charity,'» the Pope said.

And, after recalling the Apostle John’s words that «God is love,» Benedict XVI added that «this is the consoling truth that enables us also to understand that ‘holiness’ is not a reality removed from our life, but instead, in the measure in which we can become persons who love God, we enter into the mystery of ‘holiness.'»

Thus, the believer can invoke God as «Abba,» we can call him «‘beloved Father,’ with a genuine sense of familiarity,» «in a relationship of spontaneity and love.»

«We are, therefore, in the presence of an immense gift, made possible by ‘pure’ divine ‘initiative’ and by ‘grace,’ luminous expression of saving love,» the Pope added.

Benedict XVI’s talk was part of an ongoing series of commentaries on the Psalms and canticles used in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Today’s general audience was the last before the Holy Father begins his summer holiday next Monday.

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